The Full Monty Experience

I was too young to enjoy or even appreciate The Full Monty when the British comedy-drama film was released in 1997. All I remember is, it’s about guys stripping to a Tom Jones’ song that’s not Sex Bomb.

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{1997 film poster}

I was able to attend the media launch of Viva Atlantis Theatricals’ adaptation of the Brit film turned Americanized musical. It stars Mark Bautista, Jamie Wilson, Marco Sison, OJ Mariano, Arnel Ignacio, and Nino Alejandro. They play unemployed mill workers from Buffalo, New York who decide to present a strip act in a local bar to solve their financial worries after seeing the women of their town go gaga over a strip touring company of Chippendales (not the Rescue Rangers).

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{Thank you, Phil Star for the tickets!}

Though it’s Mark Bautista who topbills the cast, my fave among the men of The Full Monty are Jamie Wilson and OJ Mariano. Jamie for his acting (adorable fat bastard) and OJ for his voice (I cried in his part of You Walk With Me).

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{the ladies of the Buffalo men}

And among the women– Ciara Sotto, Sitti Navarro, Ima Castro, and Jay Glorioso– my fave is Ima who plays Arnel Ignacio’s wife. Loved her performance of “Life With Harold” and when she sang “You Rule My World”. It’s hard not to get drawn to her stage presence.

It tackles subjects like friendship, self esteem, suicide, depression, homosexuality, and obesity. Serious stuff packed in two funny, heartwarming and somewhat bittersweet hours.

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{Hey hey what do you say, Buffalo men, go all the way!}

I enjoyed the play, but it’s not something I’d go see again. I recommend that you see it if you wanna be entertained, but you’re better off checking The West End’s Royal Variety Performance if you want to be wowed. So did they actually do a full monty? Yes, in probably a split-sec! The last I remember was the 6 of them ripping their bright red thongs off and…

Go find out what’s next! :p

The Full Monty runs at the Carlos P. Romulo Theatre at the RCBC Plaza from April 19 to May 5.

// listening to The Full Monty, Act I, Big-Ass Rock

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